Dining at Walt Disney World ® - The Definitive Guide

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Dining at Walt Disney World ® should be a magical experience, but when choosing from over 300 on property dining choices, it can be overwhelming. That is why “Dining at Walt Disney World ® – The Definitive Guide “ was created

Inside these pages you will find in-depth advice including:

  • Detailed descriptions of every Disney dining venue
  • Understanding and receiving the best value from the Disney Dining Plan
  • How to snag hard-to-get dining reservations
  • Saving time and money while dining
  • What are the “must do ” character meals?
  • Disney Dining.com exclusive Picks and Tips

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Hollywood Studio’s new Toy Story Land is all the rage right now, and if you visit, it’s not hard to see why. This land is perfectly themed in true Disney style, and absolutely no detail was left unattended to. Additionally, the two new rides in this land are absolutely wonderful, and add more family-friendly fun to a park that was lacking in attractions for the younger generations.


Of course, one of the best things about visiting any Disney park is the food, meaning the new eatery located in this new land is a must-try. We made a point of stopping by this quick-service location as soon as possible after it opened, and we certainly were not disappointed. Woody’s Lunchbox delivered on every front that matters, and is a place we are sure to visit time and time again. Here’s what we loved about this amazing new dining location.

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1. Fabulous Theming

First and foremost, we adored the theming of this restaurant. The building itself is an enormous lunchbox, and the story behind it is that Andy left his toybox behind after playing in the backyard with it. Of course, the toys took advantage of this and created a lovely walk-up eatery that is all the rage in Toy Story Land, and since all guests have been shrunk to the size of toys, we get to enjoy it as well. Every single detail of this food service location matches this story, meaning that everything from the seating to the ordering kiosks are made from common lunchbox items. It’s all very cute and well done with plenty of surprises in store for the observant visitor, so be sure to look around.

2. Quick Service

The thing about quick-service restaurants is that we expect them to be...well, quick. Overall, we’d say Disney is pretty good at ensuring this is the case, and Woody’s Lunchbox is no exception. This place is pretty busy right now since it just opened, but it still manages to get orders out in a timely manner, and everything is hot, fresh, and delicious.

3. Grab-and-Go Options

Another great point for those who are in a hurry is the fact that this location offers plenty of grab-and-go options. In fact, almost everything on their menu can be eaten on the go, meaning this is perfect food to eat while waiting for a fireworks show or heading to the next attraction. Just be sure to grab some napkins in case you do manage to make a little mess.


4. Plenty of Seating

For those who prefer to sit while they eat, there is plenty of seating outside of Woody’s Lunchbox. While most of the tables and chairs are simple, colorful furniture, a few are more unique and are absolutely adorable. It seems Andy got creative when building furniture for his toys and used everything from mini cheese wheels to a note from his mom to create places for his playthings to dine.

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5. Amazing Breakfast

Not every Disney World restaurant is open for breakfast. Woody’s Lunchbox is though, and boy are we glad they are. This location features all kinds of amazing breakfast items that will please the whole family. The S'mores French Toast Sandwich is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth, and the turkey breakfast sandwich will definitely fill you up. Last, but not least, the Breakfast Bowl is simply amazing. It includes a base of tater tots, brisket, a delicious gravy, eggs, and green onions. What more could you ask for?

6. Delicious Lunch and Dinner

Of course, breakfast is just the beginning. This eatery also serves up a mean lunch and dinner menu that you’ll want to return for. Sandwiches galore dominate the menu and include such options as a Grilled Three Cheese Sandwich, the BBQ Brisket Sandwich, and the Monte Cristo. As if the sandwiches weren’t enough, you can also get Totchos at Woody’s Lunchbox. These are much like the Breakfast Bowl, but instead of gravy, the tots are topped with cheese, queso, chili, and more. Finally, there are the incredible side options. Try some amazing tomato soup with your sandwich or a simple side of tater tots. No matter what you choose, you’re sure to be happy.

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7. Adult Beverages

Lately, we’ve seen more and more quick-service locations adding adult beverages to their menus. Woody’s Lunchbox follows suit, and this is definitely a good thing. The “Grown-Up’s Lemonade” is a great way to cool off and unwind, and the option to order an Angry Orchard Hard Cider is always nice. Grab a delicious drink and stroll around Toy Story Land in the evening for a more relaxing experience than what you might get in the middle of the afternoon.

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8. Lunchbox Tarts

Lastly, we simply must mention the lunchbox tarts offered here. A more sophisticated take on the packaged Pop-Tart, these tasty pastries are a great way to breakfast on the go or finish off a delicious lunch or dinner. They’re simple, just sweet enough, and include a nice dose of nostalgia, which is always a good thing if you ask us.

[caption id="attachment_80458" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Photo Credit: Disney[/caption] - 8 Things We Love About Woody’s Lunch Box at Walt Disney World

Now that Toy Story Land is open, Hollywood Studios is a must-visit park for anyone planning a trip to Walt Disney World Resort. This park has always been fun, but since the grand opening of that section, it's bigger, more exciting, and better than ever. That said, many people take one look at what the park has to offer and decide to jump in with zero preparation. While it is totally possible to have a blast in any Disney park with little planning, everything is much more likely to go smoothly and be absolutely magical when you take the time to do your research and avoid the 10 rookie mistakes below.


1. Not Allowing Time

Despite boasting a brand new land, Hollywood Studios is still a relatively small park. This leads many visitors to plan a much shorter amount of time for this park. The problem with this is that Hollywood Studios is home to a large number of headliner attractions, meaning wait times are likely to be longer. Additionally, this park has some of the best table-service meals on property, meaning you'll want to allow plenty of time for dining. Finally, the fact that this park hosts many shows will also add to the amount of time you want to spend here.

2. Forgetting a Camera

Hollywood Studios is chock full of amazing character meet-and-greets. On top of the regularly scheduled meets, this park is also host to the secret Characterpalooza, an unadvertised event that happens only occasionally and features a random selection of (often rare) characters. You'll definitely want to have a camera handy for all the memory-making you'll be doing.

3. Missing Shows

There are several really good shows featured at Hollywood Studios. You'll want to see them all, but that'll mean arriving early enough to do so. You see, most of the shows stop running relatively early in. The evening, meaning its best to see the shows in the late morning and early afternoon in order to ensure you see them all.


4. Settling for One Ride on Star Tours

Star Tours is a super cool virtual reality flight simulator that the whole family will enjoy. However, many people make the mistake of riding once and calling it good. The thing is, this ride has a whole collection of different video adventures, meaning it's different almost every time you ride. Therefore, you'll want to do this one more than once.

5. Waiting Too Long for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Because FastPasses are limited, you may not be able to snag a Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster FastPass as one of your Tier 2 selections. Not to worry though! You don't have to wait in the usual long standby line. Instead, head to the single rider line for a faster queueing experience.

6. Arriving at “Fantasmic!” Too Late

“Fantasmic!” is easily one of the best shows in Hollywood Studios, and you definitely won't want to miss it. That said, in order to ensure you get to view the show, you will need to arrive early. “Fantasmic!” has limited capacity and it often fills up. In fact, it fills up so quickly that we recommend arriving at least 45 minutes before the performance begins.

7. Skipping Reservations

As mentioned earlier, Hollywood Studios has some pretty fantastic table-service dining options. However, guests are almost never able to waltz in and get a seat at one of these popular eateries. Therefore, it is super important that you make dining reservations before arriving at the park.

8. No FastPasses for Toy Story Land

Toy Story Land is the hottest thing at Disney World right now. This means super long lines and crowded walkways. For this reason, if you plan to ride the Toy Story attractions (Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers, and Toy Story Mania), it is super important that you have FastPasses to do so. Grab these as soon as you are able because they go quickly. Keep in mind, you can only snag one of the Toy Story Land attraction FastPasses in advance since they are all on Tier 1. Arrive early enough to ride those you may not have a FastPass for, or look at enjoying two days at Hollywood Studios!

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9. Misusing Tier 2 FastPasses

FastPasses at Hollywood Studios are split into two tiers. Guests are allowed to choose one attraction in Tier 1 (as mentioned above) and two attractions in Tier 2. It's important to know which Tier 2 FastPasses are worthwhile before reserving. Currently, the best Tier 2 options are Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.

10. Forgetting to Take It All In

The biggest mistake a person can make at any given Disney park is rushing through and forgetting to take it all in. Sure, the rides are wonderful, but the thing that makes a Disney park super special is the atmosphere and the amazing attention to detail. Be sure to slow down enough to appreciate these things!

- 10 Rookie Mistakes at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios

The Polite Pig is one of the fast casual dining places at Disney Springs, and it is a great place to stop in for a filling lunch or dinner—no reservation needed. The Polite Pig is owned by local restauranteurs who also operate the Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder in nearby Winter Park, Florida. The local Florida flavors and barbecue tradition shine at The Polite Pig, and here are 8 things I think you’ll love about it:


8. The Bourbon

The Polite Pig has a huge selection of whiskey—around 70 varieties. You can enjoy sampling flights including the aptly named Three Little Pigs, or a Florida selection among several others. The Reserve collection features whiskeys that fetch up to $90 like the WhistlePig Boss Hog or George T Stagg. If you are a connoisseur of bourbon you need to pay a visit to The Polite Pig.

7. The Décor

The Polite Pig features the common thread of décor in Disney Springs—industrial meets tourist attraction. The buildings are all part of the backstory of a working Springs that was later converted into restaurants and shopping. The interior has a lot of metal, brick and wood. It is a little dark, but it is comfortable and fashionable. And plenty of piggy touches to bring the theme together—be sure to look down at the floor. There is also patio seating outside which is nice if the weather is cooperating—and it allows you to do a lot of people watching in Disney Springs or enjoy some live entertainment.

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6. The Sauces

The Polite Pig offers a “bar” of barbecue sauces that you can use to enhance your meats (and sides). The meat here has a dry rub on it to go in the smoker, so you can use any of the sauces and it won’t compete with something that is already on the dish. Each one lists it’s characteristics and background at the restaurant, but you have: Thomas’s Southern Gold mustard based sauce; Spiced Vinegar like a North Carolina sauce; Lil John’s Signature Black Pepper which is a Texas style tomato base with honey and black pepper; BBQ Ranch an Alabama style white sauce; Layla’s Sweet Sauce that has a tomato based sweetened with molasses, honey and brown sugar; Fresno Hot Sauce their house-made hot sauce featuring fermented Fresno Chilis; and the Hot Honey which is a combination of the house hot sauce and Orange Blossom Honey. Fill up some cups and sample them all with your meal.


5. The Street Corn

While we will get to the main event on number 1, The Polite Pig has some killer sides!! One of my favorites is the Grilled Street Corn with chipotle aioli and breadcrumbs. This is similar to the Mexican street corn you’ll find in many places but with a bit of a barbecue joint twist. Close runner up to this one for me is the Tomato Watermelon salad with feta cheese, basil and pickled onion. Yum!

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4. Hop Salt Pretzel

Part of the appeal of the pretzel starter is the presentation. This gigantic pretzel is served hanging from a little stand on the tray. It is served with a Beer Cheese Fondue and an IPA Mustard for dipping—just to make it a little more delicious. The pretzel is covered with Hop Salt which is a little different than your average salt. If you’re looking for a great started, this pretzel is the one to try.

3. Orange Blossom Honey Cake

When you are ready for something sweet, the Orange Blossom Honey Cake is a specialty of The Polite Pig and it is absolutely fantastic. It has an unusual texture—somewhat dense for a cake but very moist. And it is quite flavorful with a citrus/floral hint. Yet it is a light dessert to me, very fresh and not overly sweet (in my opinion). The ingredients are locally sourced which makes it even better. And it is pretty too.

2. BBQ Cauliflower

This is my number 1 Market Side from the Polite Pig. And I don’t even love regular cauliflower all that much. This one is barbecued and has an amazing flavor and texture. I could eat it like popcorn. It is served with candied Pepitas and a side of Paprika Sour Cream for dipping. So good I would go there to get just that as a snack!

1. The Meats

Of course you go to a barbecue place for the meats. The Polite Pig does a great job with their barbecue—it has a great rub and the smokiness is very good. The really great thing here is the variety of meat choices you have: Chicken, Pork, Ribs, Salmon, Brisket, and BBQ Cheddar Sausage. If you can’t make up your mind they offer a Butcher Board (serves 2) with the pork, chicken, brisket and BBQ Cheddar sausage. So bring a buddy & a big appetite! And I have to tell you—all of the options are excellent.

What do you love about The Polite Pig? - 8 Things You’ll Love about The Polite Pig at Walt Disney World

With all of the changes, closures and works in progress at Disney’s Hollywood Studios over the past few years it has been a less than perfect park for a lot of families.  But now with the newly opened Toy Story Land adding to the family friendly fun, there are a lot of things for your family to love about Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Here are 10 of my favorites:


10. For the First Time in Forever: Frozen Sing Along Celebration

I just heard the collective groan of hundreds of parents who are beyond tired of hearing Elsa belt out “Let It Go” and Anna sing about stuffing chocolates in her face.  But I am telling you—your whole family will love the Frozen Sing Along.  Your kids will get to relive favorite movie moments with their favorite Frozen characters on stage and you can all sing out loud to your favorite songs with no shame as everyone else in the theater lets go (pun intended) of their inhibitions and sings.  There are fun special effects too.  But the best part for the adults is the narration.  The Royal Historians who present the story and walk you through from song to song are absolutely hilarious.  Each show is a little different as they ad lib and make what could be torture very entertaining.  And Moms—Kristoff is pretty dreamy.

9. The Thrills!

If you have a family of adventurous kids Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the place to be for action packed thrill rides.  Over on Sunset Boulevard you have the perfect 1-2 punch of Rock N Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror.  And with the new FastPass+ tiers you can make FastPasses for both.  Rock N Roller Coaster also has a single rider line so if your kids (and you) are comfortable riding alone you can take advantage of that shorter wait to ride it multiple times.

8. Sci-Fi Dine in Theater

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has some of the most fun places to eat in all of Walt Disney World.  The Sci-Fi Dine In Theater is one of those places.  Themed as a 1950s Drive In, you are seated in vintage cars “outside” (a night time atmosphere is created on a sound stage indoors).  While you eat you watch silly “horror” movies from the 50s and 60s so entertainment is included.  The menu here is also very family friendly.  The only caution is if you think your children will be frightened by movie clips about giant women, the Blob and other movies of that genre you might want to skip it.


7. Disney Junior

Talk about family friendly!  If you have a toddler or preschooler (or just a fan of Disney Junior TV shows), Disney’s Hollywood Studios is really the best place to interact with those characters.  Hollywood & Vine offers a character breakfast showcasing various stars of those shows like Doc McStuffins.  Several of the characters also have meet & greet locations in the Animation Courtyard.  There is currently a stage show featuring shows from Disney Junior, but that is going to close soon to make way for a Disney Junior Dance Party that features newer characters in an interactive venue.

6. Star Tours

Fans of Star Wars need to look no further than Disney’s Hollywood Studios—even before the Galaxy’s Edge Land opens.  Star Tours, a simulator ride, is fun for the whole family with some thrills and lots of space travel and encounters with your favorite Star Wars heroes and villains (depending if you are on the Dark Side or the “Light” Side).

5. Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple

Keeping with the Star Wars theme, it is a rite of passage for many younglings to participate in the Jedi Training Academy and prove their skill with the force against adversaries like Darth Vader.  Multiple shows take place daily to allow as much participation as possible, but if your child wants to be a part of the Jedi Training you need to sign them up first thing in the morning as the parks opens—it is a very popular activity and it fills very quickly.  Children ages 4-12 are allowed to participate and they must be with you when you register them.  Registration is currently at the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost between the Indianan Jones Stunt Spectacular and 50’s Prime Time Café.

4. Slinky Dog Dash

One of the newest attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is found in Toy Story Land:  Slinky Dog Dash.  This adorable coaster has family friendly thrills as you take a spin on one of Andy’s favorite toys, the Slinky Dog.  The entire land has your family shrunk down to the size of a toy so that you can enjoy Andy’s backyard from that perspective.  Try to get a FastPass+ for this one, its popularity as a new attraction is big!

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3. 50’s Prime Time Café

While I love Sci-Fi Dine In Theater, my favorite place to eat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is 50’s Prime Time Café.  It is a family tradition to eat here dating back to when I was just a kid.  Here you are seated in Mom’s kitchen and a staff of your family take care of you.  There are TVs playing 50s shows, all kinds of knick knacks reminiscent of a mid-century kitchen, and a menu filled with home-cooking comfort foods (get the fried chicken).  You have to mind your Ps & Qs—if you get caught with your elbows on the table you may be forced to stand in the corner or sing I’m a Little Tea Pot.  And be sure to eat all of your vegetables!

2. Streetmosphere

It is always fun to stop and take in the details of each park rather than dashing from one attraction to another.  One form of entertainment in the Studios that my whole family loves is the “Streetmosphere.”  These are characters from vintage Hollywood all with different roles—Starlets, Agents, News Reporters, Directors, Police Officers, you name it!  And the put on shows in various portions of the park, usually on Hollywood Boulevard or Sunset Boulevard.  Sometimes they are just part of the crowd interacting and entertaining.  One day I remember one of the characters standing in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard trying to hail a ride on a taxi (strollers going by).  It was fun to watch him get smiles from the families headed in for a day of fun.

1. Toy Story Mania

Despite the newer Toy Story attractions, I think Toy Story Mania is a perfect family attraction and a great reason to visit and love Hollywood Studios.  Toy Story Mania puts 2 players together to whirl around the track scoring points in various types of virtual 3D midway games.  It fosters a nice competition between participants since you can all compare scores at the end, but it also benefits you to work together to clear certain items from the games to earn chances at higher point values.  It is a fun game for kids of all ages (as long as they can reach the gun to play.  A day at Hollywood Studios isn’t complete without a ride on Toy Story Midway Mania.

Why does your family love Disney’s Hollywood Studios? - 10 Reasons Your Family Will Love Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened on April 22, 1998 and is currently celebrating its twentieth birthday year with lots of magic and amazing experiences. The park focuses on teaching guests about the importance of conservation and preservation through entertaining attractions and shows that also showcase the beauty and diversity of nature. Guests who want to enjoy all that Disney’s Animal Kingdom has to offer have plenty of options in terms of their touring plans, however there are plenty of insider tips, tricks, and secrets that can help them ensure that they are making the most out of a visit to the amazing park. From enjoying special locations off the beaten path to noticing small but amazing details, there are plenty of things that all guests should enjoy when in the park. Here are the thirteen best tips, tricks, and secrets to follow when visiting Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.


1. Na’vi River Journey First

The best way to ensure that guests can see as much as possible in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is by arriving right when the park opens. One of the most popular areas in the park is Pandora – The World of Avatar and guests should plan on heading straight there in the morning and getting on line for the Na’vi River Journey. This beautiful attraction has guests board a boat and set sail in the bioluminescent forests of Pandora where they can spot all sorts of mythical creatures and the Shaman of Songs.

2. FastPass Avatar Flight of Passage

Also found in Pandora – The World of Avatar is an extremely popular attraction that often boasts the longest wait times in all of Walt Disney World. Avatar Flight of Passage invites guests to link to an Avatar and soar on the back of a banshee in a traditional rite of passage of the Na’vi people. Since Avatar Flight of Passage is so incredible, it often boasts lengthy wait times that can be avoided by booking a FastPass as far in advance as possible.

3. Kilimanjaro Safaris in the Morning and at Night

The Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to a great attraction that brings guests on an authentic safari in the Harambe Reserve. Kilimanjaro Safaris travels through the forests and savannahs of Africa where guests can enjoy up close encounters with animals such as giraffes, elephants, lions, rhinos, hippos, and more. Enjoying a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris in the morning is ideal as the animals are eating breakfast in their habitats and enjoying cooler temperatures. Guests should also plan on returning to Kilimanjaro Safaris once the sun as set to catch a glimpse of nocturnal animals such as the lions being more active.


4. Yak & Yeti Restaurant’s Special Club

A popular full service restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom can be found in the Asia section of the park. Many guests love to enjoy a meal at the Yak & Yeti Restaurant for lunch or dinner, but many don’t know that the restaurant features an exclusive club that can help them score a table with no reservations. Yak & Yeti Restaurant is part of the Landry’s chain and guests can join Landry’s Club to enjoy special perks such as access to tables with no reservations. Being a Landry’s Club member also entitles guests to discounts and rewards that can be applied to any meal at the delicious restaurant!

5. Single Rider Expedition Everest

One of the most thrilling attractions in Disney’s Animal Kingdom dominates the skies of the Asia section of the park. Expedition Everest brings guests into the Forbidden Mountain where they find themselves scrambling to escape the clutches of the Yeti. This popular attraction can often have long wait times, but guests who don’t mind their party being split up can opt to use the single rider line which typically has a much shorter wait time.

6. Temple Outline

One viewpoint in the Asia area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom looks out at Expedition Everest in the distance and features a small temple and prayer tokens left by patrons. Many guests might have noticed the temple, but might not have realized that its unique shape was purposely crafted to mirror the peaks of the mountain range that Expedition Everest is part of in the distance.

7. FastPass Dinosaur

Dinoland is home to the thrilling Dinosaur attraction where guests are invited to travel back in time to bring a particular dinosaur back with them to present day. Unfortunately, guests end up a little too close to the massive asteroid impact and there are plenty of close encounters and thrilling moments in near darkness. Guests who want to enjoy Dinosaur without spending lots of time waiting on line should opt to book a FastPass for the popular experience.

8. Discovery Island Trails

A great way to spend some quiet moments in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is to explore the Discovery Island Trails which can be found around the base of the Tree of Life. Just before passing through the large doors that lead into the Africa section of the park, guests can take a right and find themselves on quiet trails that show off beautiful views of the intricately carved roots of the Tree of Life as well as the water surrounding it.

9. FastPass Rivers of Light

Nighttime in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is beautiful in part thanks to a wonderful show that brings Discovery River to life. Rivers of Light is a combination of music, projected animation, pyrotechnics, special effects, and live acting that come together to showcase the beauty and power of nature. While there is plenty of seating in the large arena for the show, guests who want to ensure that they have the perfect view should opt to book a FastPass for Rivers of Light which entitles them to sit in a preferred viewing section.

10. Live Shows

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is also home to some amazing live entertainment that definitely cannot be missed on a visit to the park. The Festival of the Lion King is hosted in the Harambe Theater section of the park and brings the story of Simba to life through acrobatics, aerial ballet, fire dancing, and more. Finding Nemo – The Musical can be found in the Theater in the Wild in the Dinoland area of the park and uses larger than life puppets and special effects to bring the story of Nemo, Marlin, and Dory to life.

11. Enjoy Small Bites

While there are plenty of amazing quick service and full service dining locations in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a great way to enjoy all that the park has to offer in terms of food is by snacking on delicious small bites. The pathway that connect the Africa and Asia sections of the park is home to many small caravans and booths that serve up delicious food items such as a Pimento-Cheese BLT Sandwich and French Fries with Sriracha and Tzatziki.

12. Tree of Life Awakenings

Once night falls in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the park is transformed by beautiful lighting and special moments. Guests who gather in front of the Tree of Life can enjoy the Tree of Life Awakenings which are special vignettes that depict the beauty and diversity of nature through projections directly onto the Tree of Life. Some vignettes feature familiar music and others feature gorgeous scenes where animals seem to come to life directly from the trunk and roots themselves.

13. Pandora – The World of Avatar at Night

Nighttime is also beautiful in Pandora – The World of Avatar as the entire area comes to life with beautiful bioluminescent lighting that is otherworldly. The floating mountains above become even more impressive and guests can enjoy the gorgeous atmosphere of Pandora’s unique ecosystem and creatures as they glow and light up the night! Guests who visit Pandora – The World of Avatar at night should also be on the lookout for a PhotoPass opportunity where they can have an amazing photo memory of the beauty of the land at night!

- 13 Best Tips, Tricks, and Secrets For Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom